EFF elec­tion win at uni­ver­si­ties shows red tide is com­ing in for 2019 elec­tions


SOUTH African stu­dents are go­ing red. That’s if the elec­tions held at uni­ver­si­ties are any­thing to go by. The EFF Stu­dent Com­mand (EFFSC) won elec­tions in three KwaZu­luNatal ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.

The red berets de­feated the ANC-aligned SA Stu­dents Congress (Sasco) at the Dur­ban Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Univer­sity of Zu­l­u­land (UniZulu) and Man­go­suthu Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy.

By yes­ter­day, votes were still be­ing counted at the Univer­sity of KwaZu­luNatal. Re­act­ing to the vic­to­ries, an elated EFF trea­surer-gen­eral Leigh Mathys said the party would con­tinue on their win­ning streak.

Uni­ver­si­ties are hold­ing stu­dents elec­tions across the coun­try.

EFFSC pres­i­dent Peter Keetse said their win was a warn­ing shot for what would hap­pen in next year’s gen­eral elec­tions. Keetse said the youth were the in­flu­encers of the fu­ture and “there­fore this is an indi­ca­tion of what is to fol­low in the fu­ture”.

“I al­ways tell our leader Julius Malema to pre­pare for his in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony for 2019 be­cause the EFF will win the 2019 elec­tions.”

In Gaut­eng, the party has also set its sights on more in­sti­tu­tions it wants to paint red.

“The EFF is lead­ing in most of the uni­ver­si­ties by 100%. We are lead­ing at the Vaal Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Wits Univer­sity, Unisa and Se­fako Mak­gatho. We are con­fi­dent that we will take these uni­ver­si­ties,” said Keetse.

The youth leader at­trib­uted the land­slide win to the need for change among univer­sity com­mu­ni­ties. “It is at the time where young peo­ple are start­ing to see the need to be in­volved in pol­i­tics be­cause be­fore the for­ma­tion of the EFF and its stu­dent com­mand we had young peo­ple who were re­ally not in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics, par­tic­u­larly vot­ing.”

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Lukhona Mn­guni said the EFFSC had taken an “enor­mous leap” by the win­ning votes in KZN uni­ver­si­ties. Mn­guni added that it was dif­fi­cult to woo vot­ers in the prov­ince, who were pre­dom­i­nantly ANC and IFP sup­port­ers. He cited the weak lead­er­ship of Sasco as a fac­tor.

“This shows you that where the ANC is weak, there will al­ways be par­ties ready to fill the vac­uum. Sasco is weak and the EFF is al­ready fill­ing the vac­uum.”

An­other an­a­lyst Im­raan Buc­cus said the EFF’s pop­ulist rhetoric was a se­duc­tive and pop­u­lar one. How­ever, he said it should be noted that vot­ing turnout dur­ing SRC elec­tions was not al­ways great.

“But there is no doubt that the EFF has huge ap­peal in a con­text where the ma­jor­ity of young peo­ple live on the mar­gins of so­ci­ety.”

Univer­sity of Johannesburg spokesper­son Her­man Ester­huizen wouldn’t spec­u­late on the EFF’s elec­toral for­tunes at the in­sti­tu­tion, say­ing they would await the ac­tual out­come.

“It’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult be­cause we’re go­ing into elec­tions on the 10th of next month. We’ve got an in­terim-SRC com­pris­ing var­i­ous bod­ies. Var­i­ous branches and po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions are cam­paign­ing at this stage so we will have to wait to see the out­come.”

How­ever, Keetse at­trib­uted the land­slide vic­to­ries in KZN to the need for change among univer­sity com­mu­ni­ties.

“…young peo­ple are start­ing to see the need to be in­volved in pol­i­tics be­cause, be­fore the EFF and its stu­dent com­mand, we had young peo­ple who were re­ally not in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics, par­tic­u­larly vot­ing.”

De­spite both the Dis­trict Six and Bel­lville Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (CPUT) cam­puses still need­ing to vote, EFFSC claimed vic­tory fol­low­ing vot­ing at the Mow­bray Cam­pus on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

EFFSC Dis­trict Six cam­pus chair­per­son Songeze Ph­lindlela said the EFF had taken all nine po­si­tions de­spite CPUT spokesper­son Lau­ren Kans­ley say­ing that all cam­puses needed to vote be­fore any count­ing would com­mence.

“We agreed that we would count the votes as soon as the vot­ing closed, and there were mem­bers of both Sasco and the Pan African­ist Stu­dents Move­ment of Aza­nia there with the EFF, and we have won.

“They are no longer go­ing to be in con­trol be­cause they have been rig­ging these things and we were not go­ing to ac­cept that,” said Ph­lindlela.

The Univer­sity of Cape Town also held its SRC elec­tions this week and was ex­pected to re­lease the pro­vi­sional re­sults to­mor­row, with the fi­nal re­sults to fol­low on Wed­nes­day.

The Univer­sity of the Western Cape was ex­pected to hold its SRC elec­tions on Oc­to­ber 9 and 10.

| Julius Malema Tho­bile Mathonsi

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